Boyd Martin and Tsetserleg Claim BUCKEYE™ Nutrition USEF Eventing CCI 4*-L National Championship Title

Nov 15, 2020 - 8:06 PM

Will Coleman and Chin Tonic HS Cruise to CCI 3*-L Win

Elisabeth Halliday-Sharp and Cooley HHS Calmaria Climb to Guardian Horse Bedding CCI 2*-L Win

Jenny Caras and Trendy Fernhill Top CCI 4*-S Division

For Immediate Release

Mill Spring, NC – November 15, 2020 – The MARS Tryon International Three-Day Event concluded at Tryon International Equestrian Center and Resort (TIEC) after four days of international and national Eventing competition and showcasing the largest competition hosted on the East Coast in 2020. An incredibly close Show Jumping phase was undecided until the very end, resulting in a win for Boyd Martin (USA) and Tsetserleg in the BUCKEYE™ Nutrition USEF Eventing CCI 4*-L National Championship, laying down a clear round to hold the top spot and ending on a score of 28.10. In reserve, Phillip Dutton (USA) piloted Z, the 2008 Zangersheide gelding (Asca x Babouche VH Gehucht Z), to a clear round and a final score of 28.80 for T. Tierney, S. Roosevelt, S. Lacy, A. Jones, and C. Moran. Rounding out the podium and finishing on their Dressage score of 29.10, Woods Baughman (USA) and C’est La Vie 135, the 2008 Hanoverian gelding (Contendro I x Aarking XX) owned by Woods, Kim, and and James Baughman, Jr., produced a clear round in Tryon Stadium to achieve the podium.

Boyd Martin and Tsetserleg
©Shannon Brinkman Photography

Just 0.10 points behind Baughman, Doug Payne (USA) earned fourth place with Vandiver, the 2004 Trakehner gelding (Windfall 2 x Mystic Replica XX) owned by Debi Crowley in partnership with Doug and Jessica Payne, while Elisabeth Halliday-Sharp (USA), the leader after Cross-Country, had a heartbreaking rail at the last fence aboard Deniro Z, the 2008 Dutch Warmblood gelding (Zapatero x French Buffet XX) owned by Ocala Horse Properties and the Deniro Syndicate, to drop to fifth place and a final score of 30.10.

Martin piloted three mounts through the course set by Chris Barnard (Millbrook, NY), and each went better than the next, he recalled. “I had a little bit of a rough start today. It got better and better. Luckily, I had three horses in it: Blackfoot Mystery was a little bit tired and had big gaps. For On Cue, I had two poles knocked over, and she’s usually jumping clear. Finally, the old campaigner ‘Thomas’ went into the jumps like a champion, so I’m thrilled because show jumping is the weak phase of his, and we’ve worked pretty hard at it. It was just very satisfying to get a good round out of him under pressure.”

Despite the top seven competitors after Cross-Country scoring within striking distance, with fewer than four points separating them, Martin noted that both he and “Thomas,” the 2007 Trakehner gelding (Windfall *PG* x Buddenbrock) owned by Christine, Thomas and Tommie Turner, seem to do well under pressure. “You know, after doing this for years, you start getting a little bit more numb to the pressure. I’m always nervous on the first horse, and by the second and third you start getting into a rhythm, so it’s definitely an advantage of bringing multiple horses. I truly think Thomas performs better when he has a bit of pressure. I’m not sure if he knows which events are important,” Matin admitted, “but he seems to do really, really well in Dressage, Cross-Country and Show Jumping when we need him. He’s had a pretty light year; I’ve only ridden him a couple times at the shows and he’s a little bit undone, but he came out and was just where he needed to be. He’s just fun to ride.”

AwardTR20brinkman11-15j2-7530Boyd Martin and Tsetserleg in their presentation ceremony alongside Louise Palmer of BUCKEYE Nutrition, Zack Berry from MARS Equestrian, Owners Christine and Tommie Turner, Sharon Decker, Tryon Equestrian Partners President – Carolinas Operations, Jenni Autry, USEF Eventing Managing Director, and David O’Conner, Equestrian Gold Medalist.
©Shannon Brinkman Photography

Martin concluded that his championship title was made possible due to the herculean effort of the organizing team to make the competition happen, despite heavy rainfall and damage to the Cross-Country course late in the week, and emphasized that Tryon Resort is the “ultimate destination” for world-class riders:

“I think Tryon is one of the best venues in the world. It would be an absolute crime if they didn’t have a permanent CCI long format event here. Even when conditions were atrocious, they’ve got the facility, the willpower, and the passion to put on a really, really good show. Obviously, it’s a real honor and privilege riding here, and like I said yesterday, I can’t tell you how much we appreciate all the guys out there making that Cross-Country course as horse-friendly as possible,” Martin elaborated. “I’ve been lucky enough to compete all over the world, and I’ve never seen so many people pull together to make the conditions fair for the horses, so I truly hope Tryon gets this as a permanent date, or this event in the spring or something, because it’s an unbelievable facility in all three phases. It’s the ultimate destination.”

DuttonPhillipZ-TR20brinkman11-15j1-5916Phillip Dutton and Z
©Shannon Brinkman Photography

Dutton detailed that Z tends to get excited in the stadium, and that he’s been working on the Show Jumping phase intensely, to positive results today. “Show Jumping was really, really good; he tends to get a little more wound up and a little bit antsy in the ring, but I always found the lines. We spent a lot of time doing some jumper shows to figure out ways to count and set everything between the rounds and in between the jumps, and I thought he was spectacular.”

Though the results hung in the balance until the last rider stopped the timers, Dutton noted that the fierce competition speaks to the quality of the horse-and-rider pairs who challenged the championship, and of the US Eventing program as a whole:

“With a big field like this, any little error and you’ve moved down five or six places. I was really impressed with the whole competition, right from the get-go, from the standard of the Dressage and the Cross-Country’s difficult conditions, and a lot of people who had a real crack at it. The Show Jumping was certainly up to standard today. I think it was a great thing for the sport this weekend in this country.”

Dutton concluded, “This event was so great for the sport, the riders, and the horses, for Tryon to be able to step up and do this. Arguably, there really isn’t anywhere else in the country or the world that could have pulled off what [TIEC] did on Cross-Country day with the flooding and bringing in all the machines in and everything else to make it a proper competition. This is a very unique venue and we’re blessed to have it and the people who run it.”

BaughmanWoodsC'estLaVieTR20brinkman11-15j1-5828Woods Baughman and C’est La Vie 135
©Shannon Brinkman Photography

One of the few pairs in the top ten to remain on their Dressage score all weekend, Woods Baughman and C’est la Vie 135 “came out swinging,” he recapped. “The horse is amazing. He just comes out in all three phases and I can really test him to a point and he never lets down. Start to finish, he just came out swinging and I’m happy with it. I was definitely pretty nervous this morning,” Baughman admitted. “I skipped breakfast, but yeah, if I just let him do his thing and stay out of his way and keep my position, he’ll blow it out.”

On Cross-Country, Baughman reported that he chose to let his mount take the lead for the first half of the run, a strategy that worked out well for him. “The first half of the course, I just tried to stay out of his way and let him tear it up, and then in the back half when he started to relax a little bit I could be a little bit more accurate, and take a little control back to help him out.”

Though Baughman’s scores held steady all weekend, he acknowledged that his faith in the Cross-Country course varied throughout the week before competition day arrived: “I just think [TIEC] did an amazing job. I showed up here on Tuesday and it was just a downpour and flooding, then on Wednesday morning I was like ‘they are going to cancel Cross-Country.’ And then, when they held the course walk on Thursday, I was like ‘yeah, this is game over,’ and sure enough, by the time we actually ran the footing was great,” he concluded.

Will Coleman and Chin Tonic HS Cruise to CCI 3*-L Win

Will Coleman (USA) and Chin Tonic HS sailed to a win in the CCI 3*-L Division, holding the lead all the way for a final score of 25.70 with the 2012 Holsteiner gelding (Chin Champ x Quinar) owned by Hyperion Stud LLC.. In second, Boyd Martin (USA) piloted Contessa, the 2009 Holsteiner mare (Contender x Esteban) owned by Club Contessa, to a score of 25.90, adding nothing to their score all weekend, while Leslie Law (USA) improved from fourth place third with Lady Chatterley, the 2011 Holsteiner mare (Connor 48 x Mytens XX) owned by Lesley Grant-Law and Jackie and Steve Brown, walking away with a score of 27.80. Ending on fourth after a tiebreaker with Law, Ariel Grald and Caballe, the 2012 Holsteiner mare (Cliostro x Lansing) owned by Anna Elridge, also ended on a score of 27.80.

Coleman was piloting Chin Tonic HS through his first 3*-L this weekend and noted that he was still quite fresh after Cross-Country yesterday: “The Show Jumping went well, and my horse jumped great. He was looking around a bit when the wind started blowing and things like the flowers and fillers were moving. He still felt pretty fresh after yesterday!”

ColemanChinTonicTR20brinkman11-15s2EA-9681Will Coleman and Chin Tonic HS
©Shannon Brinkman Photography

Though they led from start to finish, Coleman was most excited about the educational experience his up-and-coming star gained by competing in a big environment, albeit sans spectators. “There’s always a tremendous atmosphere here at Tryon. They get a taste of what the big time will be like – and is like. I thought that the Cross-Country course was solid. It wasn’t overly difficult, yet it was still a great education for him,” he reported. “It was his first three-star long, and it was an almost nine-minute course. There’s no question that it was a huge experience for him and I think it’ll serve him very well going forward.”

Coleman concluded, “I’m thankful for this weekend and that we’re still able to compete during this time. I’m also very thankful to Hyperion Stud and Vicky Castregen and the whole team. I’ve got a wonderful group of people helping me. Without them, I wouldn’t be where I am. I’m very lucky!”

MartinBoydContessaTR20brinkman11-15s2EA-9651Boyd Martin and Contessa
©Shannon Brinkman Photography

Holding onto second for the entirety of the weekend with Contessa, Martin called the mare “just a fantastic jumper, who’s all class and quality. She’s full of energy after yesterday’s Cross-Country, and put in a great round of jumping.”

Though Martin has mostly been working with Contessa at home thus far, he reported that he has high hopes for his mount: “I think this weekend she not only performed well and got a great result, but she got a great education of things to come. The stadium feeling in the Dressage and Show Jumping is definitely a lot of pressure and atmosphere, and the Cross-Country course is obviously a real test and sign of a horse for the future.”

LawLeslieLady ChatterleyTR20brinkman11-15s2EA-9472Leslie Law and Lady Chatterley
©Shannon Brinkman Photography

Rounding out the podium, Law and Lady Chatterley finished on their Dressage score, which Law called a “very good test for her,” and ended up being a great learning experience for both his three-star mounts, he shared. “We’ve been quite fortunate that once the events got started again, we were able to put a program together and stick with it in the second half of the season.”

Like many of his peers, Law emphasized the dedication of the TIEC staff to making the event happen, both before the date and once the course was damaged just before the start of competition. “I think everybody that’s involved here at Tryon obviously have gone above and beyond, first to get it off the floor, and get it to happen. Probably the bigger challenge, though, was all the rain when we got here and all that had to be done. And that [credit] goes to the management here at Tryon and the staff. [Technical Delegate] Andy Bowles and [Course Designer] Mark Phillips… I think what they did was incredible,” Law continued. “They might not have been able to do it without the hands that are available here, but for Mark Philips and Andy Bowles to put something together which looked impossible and pull it off, I think hats off to those two and everyone who supported and helped them.

“The ground on the day [of competition] was good ground,” Law continued. “We had to look after our horses for a little bit on that short stretch coming back across the road, but as long as you rode sensibly, it was good ground. Obviously, I’ve been doing this for quite some time now, and it is not long ago that we consistently were running in a lot worse ground than this, even at places like Badminton,” he noted.

Law concluded, “I’m really thankful to everyone who put this event on, and hopefully we see it here again and again; that would be a nice thing. It is a great venue, the facilities are fantastic, the rings are fantastic and the Cross-Country course is top class. Mark Phillips, I think, is like red wine, he just gets better and better. The courses were super, they really were.”

Elisabeth Halliday-Sharp and Cooley HHS Calmaria Climb to Guardian Horse Bedding CCI 2*-L Win

Elisabeth Halliday-Sharp prevailed in the Guardian Horse Bedding CCI 2*-L Division with Cooley HHS Calmaria, ending on their Dressage score of 28.30. Elizabeth Bortuzzo (USA) and Belongs to Teufer, the 2009 Thoroughbred gelding (Teuflesberg x Belong To Me) owned by John. A Witte, held steady to their Dressage score to end up in second on a score of 28.60, while the weeklong leader, Sara Kozumplik Murphy (USA) and Otta B Quality, Edith Rameika’s 2013 Dutch Warmblood gelding, dropped just one rail on course to land in third with a score of 29.20.

Halliday-Sharp and the 2013 Irish Sport Horse mare (Cyrano 145 x Chester Lass) owned in partnership with Cooley Farm have only been partnered since June of this year, she revealed, and found the win to be “a nice surprise” but one that only confirms the quality of the up-and-coming mount.

hallidaySharpCooley HHSCalmariaTR20brinkman11-15s1EA-6145Elisabeth Halliday-Sharp and Cooley HHS Calmaria
©Shannon Brinkman Photography

“It’s a mare that I’ve only had since June, and she only did her first preliminary in July,” Halliday-Sharp revealed. “She’s one of the trickiest horses I’ve ever had and one of the most talented, and I was absolutely thrilled with her this weekend. She definitely did the best Dressage that she’s done, which has been our trickiest phase, and she was so perfect on Cross-Country and exceptional today. She’s very pleased with herself, and I’m really excited about her for the future. I think there is a lot more to come from her, and she’ll be a horse that everyone’s looking up to,” Halliday-Sharp predicted.

Echoing the remarks of her peers, Halliday-Sharp believes “this is an outstanding venue, and I’d say it’s one of the best in the world, undeniably. I can’t think of anywhere better. The efforts that everyone put in was truly Herculean to make everything run,” she continued. “I was the 78th horse out of the box on the 4* and actually, the ground wasn’t that bad. I felt like the ground continued to improve as the day went on, which is incredible.

“I’ve not actually ever experienced any event that put that much true grit and effort into making things run the best they could for the horses,” Halliday-Sharp concluded. “And in terms of the arena, it feels like you’re at a championship here, so I truly hope [this is a regular] event going forward; I cannot think of anywhere that could deliver it like Tryon did.”

BortuzzoTR20brinkman11-15s1EA-7794Elizabeth Bortuzzo and Belongs to Teufer
©Shannon Brinkman Photography

Bortuzzo acknowledged that while Cross-Country felt “easy” for her horse, Show Jumping tends to be “quite an effort” and she was pleased to keep her Dressage score the whole weekend through. “We had a consistently decent Dressage test, and he was phenomenal out on Cross-Country. It felt easy, and I think we were going a bit too fast, but he was just traveling around and it felt great. For him, Show Jumping is quite an effort. I was very surprised but very happy about it. So overall, I couldn’t be happier about how we did across all three phases.”

Bortuzzo is a first-time competitor at TIEC and shared that she was originally uncertain about making the trip from Pittstown, NJ, but now plans to return if she’s able. “I haven’t ever been to the venue and it is quite gorgeous. I brought the horses on quite a few trail rides across the whole property, and it is lovely. For not being quite perfect condition-wise, the cross-country course was lovely, too. I had no intention of coming all the way down to North Carolina, but we are very glad we came!” Bortuzzo admitted.

“It was a little bit of a year full of ups and downs. But hopefully this horse will get going next year with some intermediates and a 2*-L at some point. But, we hope to be back here next fall. Hopefully we can pull off a great result again! We are very thankful for you guys for hosting such a lovely event, and even in these challenging times it all came off with any hitches,” she concluded.

kozumplikmurphySaraTR20brinkman11-15s1EA-7969Sara Kozumplik Murphy and Otta B Quality
©Shannon Brinkman Photography

After a heartbreaking touch that dropped a rail, Murphy remained in third place with Otta B Quality and conceded that it was a great result for the gelding’s first FEI competition. “I was disappointed, obviously. He’s a very clean show jumper generally, and he just touched the middle of the triple, which wasn’t that big of a deal. It’s just how it goes. Coming into the competition I would have certainly been happy with third place, but it’s hard when you drop from first to third! That’s just how it goes. That’s why it’s three phases and you have to pull it out on every one of them.”

Most importantly, Murphy commented, was that her horse gained strength and experience from his time at the venue and will only come back next season a stronger, more powerful ride. “He tried very hard and it’s been a very big year for him. As he’s moving up the levels he’s getting a lot stronger. He’s trying very hard and will certainly come away from this event a much better horse. He’s going to go have a big holiday now! I’ll let him completely down and then bring him back up again. My goal is to be here next year in the three-star.”

Her three-star goals don’t mean that she will rush “Otter” in any way, Murphy added. “He doesn’t need to do a three-star in the spring, but I think he should just keep picking away and gaining experience [where he’s at now] while working all year to do the next level up [in the fall]. That should be the goal. This horse is a slow grower and needs time to make sure he’s strong enough. When they’re big and loose movers like he is, you have to be extra sure that they’re really strong.”

Murphy concluded, “I think he’s pretty special. I didn’t have exactly the weekend that I wanted, but my horses did well in every situation, and the venue did everything they could to pull this off. This wouldn’t have been possible without Tryon because there was nowhere else that could’ve done it. It’s nice for us to be able to get out and keep our sport going.”

Jenny Caras and Trendy Fernhill Top CCI 4*-S Division

Jenny Caras (USA) and Trendy Fernhill carried their lead through to the finish in the CCI 4*-S division, adding 20.80 penalties for time to their Cross-Country run and still keeping the lead score of 47.80. In second, Joe Meyer and Clip Clop, the 2003 Irish Sport Horse gelding (Crosstown Dancer x Wolverlife) owned by Madison Foote, Theresa Foote and John Meyer, cleared the White Oak Course with 12.40 time penalties for a total score of 48.50. Rounding out the top three, Nobie Cannon (USA) and Bust A Groove, her own 2004 Thoroughbred gelding (Busterwaggley x Groovy), were by far the closest to making the time on a muddy course, adding only eight time penalties for a total score of 52.20.

Caras mentioned that it was only the third advanced competition for the 2011 Irish Sport Horse gelding (Ars Vivendi x Cruising) owned by Elyse Eisenberg, and that the atmosphere only added some nice spark to an already nice Dressage test. “I was going for consistency and no mistakes, and I was happy with him overall,” she recalled. “He couldn’t have been better in the Show Jumping. I know that it can be hard to make the time in that ring, and he has a long stride and can be a bit slow, so I went in and rode forward. He’s such a great jumper and it’s nice to be able to just focus on the riding and the plan.”

CarasTR20brinkman11-15x1ag-8612Jenny Caras and Trendy Fernhill
©Shannon Brinkman Photography

Caras ended up walking the White Oak Cross-Country Course many times due to schedule changes that occurred throughout, and said that the Tryon team “made Cross-Country happen in impossible circumstances. I couldn’t be happier with the way he handled the course. He was a little spooky in the first combination and so I just put him on his feet and kept him together. He finished well and confident, which I think is the most important thing.”

Caras concluded, “I think all of the riders are very grateful to Tryon for stepping in to host this event. All of the effort that they put in to make it so we could run Cross-Country was appreciated from all sides. It’s truly a privilege to be able to compete here.”

meyerTR20brinkman11-15xcTM-8150Joe Meyer and Clip Clop
©Shannon Brinkman Photography

Meyer rose from 15th after Dressage with Clip Clop, who he called a “super quirky” ride but one that has serious talent. “He’s an awesome horse. I was originally sent him to be sold. He’s super quirky and has thrown me off time after time. He’s gotten better and better, and we’ve formed a partnership. Now, he’s done five-star competitions!”

The nearly-seventeen-year-old acts more like a four-year-old, Meyer revealed, and has recently found a new level in the show jumping phase: “He’s fantastic. He’s always been a good show jumper, but now that he’s gotten older he’s awesome. It gives you an amazing sense of confidence as well. He’s hot on the flat, and that’s his only drawback. I do think that if he could do Dressage as relaxed as he does at home, I would have an Olympic horse. I guess that’s just how it goes. There are only certain people that can ride him.”

Like many competitors, Meyer and Clip Clop found the Chimney Rock Combination to be a bit trickier than expected, in part due to Clip Clop’s drive to get through the flags at a faster pace than Meyer intended. “It’s funny, because I watched and watched yesterday, and had an idea in my head of what was going to go on, but it didn’t work out that way. I thought for sure I’d just pop down the Chimney Rock combination in five strides, and then another four [to the third wedge]. I went quiet to the top and saw a going distance, waited for one stride, he popped in, then just rocket-shipped down the hill,” Meyer recapped. “He landed and balanced and knew what he was doing because he’s experienced. He did one stride, slipped, but then picked himself right back up and looked for the flags!

“I want to thank everybody at Tryon: the organizers, officials, volunteers, and everyone else, for the effort that they put into getting the Cross-Country running,” Meyer concluded. “What they did was unbelievable! The course is beautiful. A massive thank you to everybody.”

CannonTR20brinkman11-15x2ag-19538Nobie Cannon and Bust A Groove
©Shannon Brinkman Photography

Cannon and “Busta” were the fastest pairs on course Sunday, and she reported that she felt comfortable with the footing even after a full day of competition running on the course the day prior. “Boy, the crew at Tryon did a crazy job getting the course back to where the footing was runnable,” she emphasized. “It was muddy in spots, but nothing that I felt was dangerous. We just went for it! He didn’t slip or anything. I was actually surprised when I looked down at my minute marker and wasn’t as far off as I usually am. It was exciting!”

Cannon is carefully considering when to retire her mount, and says that his performance this weekend couldn’t have been any better. “The Dressage is never our strongpoint. We’ve been working really hard on it this year, since there haven’t been a ton of shows. He put in a really good test. He tried and he really stayed with me. With the Show Jumping, I got nervous in that atmosphere, to be honest. I could’ve ridden better to avoid those two rails that we had, but such is life! I think he could go a little longer, but I think we’re pretty close to the end for him because he’s done everything I could’ve asked from him. It was really cool that we got to end this way.”

A frequent competitor at TIEC, Cannon and Busta contested their first Advanced together at the Blue Ridge Mountain Horse Trials last September, and it felt fitting to conclude his career – for now, at least – at one of their favorite venues. “We keep coming back. The footing is great and the courses are always challenging, but ride well. I like that we can go eat at the restaurants. Tryon is a fun destination.”

To view full results from the MARS Tryon International Three-Day Event, click here.

To view Orders of Go, Live Streaming Replays, and more, click here. 

Photos ©Shannon Brinkman Photography. These photos may only be used once in relation to this press release with proper credit. With questions, contact



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